Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Joint Assembly planned for 2019

Posted on: November 27th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Leigh Anne Williams

 

Archbishop Fred Hiltz  and Bishop Susan Johnson lead Anglican and Lutheran members of the 2013 Joint Assembly in prayer at the Ottawa Convention Centre. Photo: Art Babych


 

The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have approved in principle a plan to hold a second joint assembly in 2019.

The first joint meeting of the two churches’ governing bodies, which drew about 800 delegates, was held in Ottawa in 2013, with the full communion partners generally meeting as one group except when required to meet and vote as separate legal entities.

The Anglican House of Bishops and Lutheran Conference of Bishops met together on Nov. 17 and 18 in Niagara Falls, Ont., where the bishops heard a report from the Joint Anglican and Lutheran Commission (JALC) that included news of the joint assembly.

The report also highlighted the fact that Waterloo Ministries—where Anglican and Lutheran communities share clergy, facilities and programs—have grown from 32 to 82 ministries in the last few years. The report emphasized the point that for the majority of those ministries, the choice to work together was made from “a position of strength for common witness,” not from a survivalist point of view, said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, in an interview.

Bishop Susan Johnson, national bishop of the ELCIC, spoke to the bishops about plans to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Hiltz said that Johnson and the joint commission were careful to point out that they are not calling this a celebration “because they realize that one of the outcomes of that reformation was a splintering of the church, so they’re calling it a commemoration.” They are very keen to have their full communion partners and ecumenical partners participate in the events, he added. The theme will be “Liberated by God’s Grace” and the subthemes, to be examined from 2015 to 2017, are “Salvation Not for Sale”; “Human beings not for sale” (which will focus on trafficking); and “Creation not for sale.”

Hiltz said a report from JALC also pointed to a need for both churches to discuss the challenge of providing sacramental ministry in rural communities. Within Lutheran circles there is discussion about the possibility of lay people offering the eucharist, which is not being considered in the Anglican church, he said. “Our route around handling that situation has always been to look at locally raised priests, helping the community to discern who might in fact have the charism [gift] of priesthood and then to call that person, train and ordain them.”

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Anglican Journal News, November 26, 2014

Pilgrimage looks at Anglican responses to homelessness

Posted on: November 26th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By André Forget

 

Bonnie Briggs, founder of the Toronto Homeless Memorial, reads a poem in honour of those who have died on the street. Photo: André Forget.


 

The word “pilgrimage” often conjures up images of holy places in ancient lands, of quiet prayer and inward reflection. But for a group of Anglicans and Lutherans in Toronto, the word took on a new meaning Nov. 22 when they participated in “Come and See,” a pilgrimage put on by Anglican community organizers from the diocese of Toronto in conjunction with the national church.

The pilgrimage, which took place on National Housing Day, was meant to raise awareness of the worsening housing crisis in Canada, which in 1998 the federal government declared a “national disaster.” On any given night, an estimated 35,000 people do not have a home, according to the Homeless Hub, an online community of academics committed to gathering and disseminating information about homelessness in Canada. In any given year, 235,000 Canadians will experience homelessness, with 5,000 having no shelter of any kind, 180,000 staying in emergency shelters and 50,000 being provisionally accommodated.

The event drew attention to some of the ways in which parish ministries are responding to the crisis in the wake of the joint declaration made by the Anglican and Lutheran churches in 2013 on homelessness and affordable housing. The declaration called the church to act in support of the homeless and marginally housed and to advocate for renewed federal funding for housing.

The pilgrimage began early in the morning at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, where churchwarden Michael Shapcott, who has been involved in housing advocacy in Toronto for many years, provided some historical context for the drastic decrease in social housing since the mid-1980s.

Bonnie Briggs, founder of the Toronto Homeless Memorial, then shared some of her own experiences as a homeless person on the streets of Toronto. “I first became homeless in 1987,” she said. “The landlord of the place we were living at sold the house. We were told that the new owner wanted the whole house for himself. Three months later we were on the street.”

She spoke of how she and her partner slept wherever they could for two years, until they were finally able to find affordable housing. She formed a committee to create the memorial in honour of those she knew hadn’t been as lucky. The memorial contains over 700 names, listing all the known homeless people who have died on the streets of Toronto since 1985.

At St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, priest-in-charge Maggie Helwig spoke about the breakfast program her parish runs. Helwig argued that the church has an integral role in fighting poverty and homeless, at one point quipping, “when Jesus said ‘the poor you will have always with you,’ it wasn’t a policy recommendation.” She also invited some of the regular breakfast attendees to answer questions from the pilgrims about their experiences of being homeless or marginally housed.

One of the most common narratives that came out the pilgrimage was of people who became homeless later in life. At the midday meal at the Anglican Church of the Redeemer, Don Morgan, who now works part-time at Redeemer as a caretaker, shared how he became homeless after a career working in the financial services industry and as a business systems analyst. “After the last project I was on ended,” he said, “a lot of things in my life caught up with me and I went into a depression which lasted for about two years, and by that time I had no other resources, so I had to leave.”

It was through Redeemer that he was able to get back on his feet, but he shared his story as a reminder that no one is so secure that they might not one day find themselves in a position of homelessness.

The next stop on the pilgrimage was at the Church of San Lorenzo, a Latin American Anglican parish served by Fr. Hernán Astudillo, who came to Canada from Ecuador as a political refugee in 1992. Astudillo’s congregation is made up of refugees and immigrants from many Latin American nations, and his parish has become a centre for building and connecting Latin American migrants living in Toronto.

Astudillo argued that the church needs “a new theology and a new spirituality: that of the immigrants,” in order to recapture its vital energy, and he also challenged the idea that funding needs to come in big grants. Instead, he gave an example of how San Lorenzo raised money through donated beans, which were then made into pupusas and empanadas and sold to members of the community for $2.

The final stop on the pilgrimage brought the group to All Saints Anglican Church, at Dundas and Sherbourne streets, at the heart of what the Toronto Star called in 2009 “the most violent quarter of the city.” All Saints is unique in Toronto among the parishes visited in that its outreach is the purpose for its existence, to the extent that its building has been shaped around the services it provides the community, including a bakery where street-involved men and women can get work experience.

The Rev. David Opheim, the priest/director/incumbent at All Saints, spoke passionately about the importance of providing a safe space where people—and especially women—would feel comfortable coming, a place that didn’t expect them to be able to turn their lives around immediately. “We are not judgmental; we base our work on harm reduction,” said Opheim. In addition to housing 56 people in a building adjacent to the church, All Saints has a nurse on-site during the week to help people who might not feel comfortable going to a hospital.

Several of the individuals who were part of the pilgrimage were themselves homeless or marginally housed, including John Birnie, a “lifelong Anglican” and trained musician who heard about the event through his involvement at All Saints. Birnie called it “inspirational” to see how many churches were involved in outreach.

Angie Hocking, outreach co-ordinator at the Redeemer, said that the idea for the pilgrimage arose from the desire to find an alternative “to having a conference where we all sit in a room and talk about homelessness.” Instead, she wanted to “get out there and see different spaces, learn from people with lived experience and hear from different ministries on their own turf.”

Henriette Thompson, director of public witness for social and ecological justice at the national church, who, along with Hocking, was involved in the leadership and planning of the event, said she hopes this will be a “pilot” for similar events in other cities.

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Anglican Journal News, November 26, 2014

Rois listed in top 100

Posted on: November 26th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Leigh Anne Williams

 

The Rev. Canon Judy Rois says she has tried to “uphold women in theological education and in the ministry of the Canadian church.”    Photo: Contributed _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rev. Canon Judy Rois, executive director of the Anglican Foundation, has been named as one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN).

The awards are intended to “recognize Canada’s strong, fearless female leaders who have become agents of change in reshaping Canadian organizations at the highest levels,” according to a release about the latest recipients from WXN. The WXN is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to the “advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles.”

Listed with influential women such as CTV chief anchor Lisa LaFlamme and Indigo Books & Music CEO Heather Reisman, the WXN biographical information about Rois says that “strategic thinking and vision coupled with a capacity for whimsical creativity, resourcefulness and innovation have been the hallmarks of…Rois’ 29 years as an ordained minister.” Rois was appointed as executive director of the Anglican Foundation in 2010.

In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Rois noted that the WXN, to which she belongs, is a secular organization recognizing her work in the church. It is “really great when in the public square you get some acknowledgement,” she said.

Rois said she began her ministry as a priest in the years not long after the Anglican Church of Canada approved the ordination of women. “Rather than fight for acceptance or demand recognition, I chose rather to earn what I believed was a rightful place in a male-dominated profession,” she said.

“One of the things I’ve tried to do over the years is make a strong contribution to Canadian theological education,” she said. “That has included women and men, but [I’ve tried] really to uphold women in theological education and in the ministry of the Canadian church.”

In her experience, Rois said recognition often does not come quickly and may take years and years “of steadily pursuing what you feel is your vocation.” She noted that as a “privileged white person,” she is aware that she has had opportunities that many other women haven’t. “So whenever I have the opportunity to support somebody else who doesn’t yet have their voice, I will do everything I can to go to bat for people.”

The 2014 WXN awards are slated to be presented in Toronto on Nov. 27.

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Anglican Journal News, November  26, 2014

Our Solemn Promise

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

Our Solemn Promise”; Lutherans, Anglicans called to public reciting of the promise to “never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women”.

 

November 25th marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It is followed by the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which ends on 10 December, United Nations Human Rights Day. Statistics continue to reveal the awful truth that no country rich or poor, dictatorship or democracy has come close to eradicating gender based violence. It is a global issue.

This year the world has witnessed horrific atrocities in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Gaza and Sudan. It is well documented that the majority of innocent victims of war are women and children. By far the greatest number of human beings trafficked for the sex trade are women and girls.

The Lutheran World Federation has launched the theme for the 500th anniversary commemorating the Lutheran Reformation in 1517 – “Liberated by God’s Grace”. Three subthemes for the commemoration focus on Salvation – not for sale, Creation – not for sale and Human Beings – not for sale. The Lutheran churches invite all churches to participate in this resolve in addressing human trafficking.

The Anglican Communion Office has recently launched an initiative “Anglicans Ending Gender Based Violence”. It urges the churches “to not remain silent about this tragedy but to speak up and take action in addressing it”. It calls us “to provide safe space for victims of violence”, and “to promote and model safe, equal, respectful relationships between men, women, girls and boys”. It calls the churches “to teach young men and women to honour themselves and each other as human beings cherished equally by God.”

As Canadians, many of us were horrified by the November 7th beating of Rinelle Harper, a 16 year old Grade 11 student in Winnipeg. Viciously beaten and thrown into the Assiniboine River, she managed to crawl out of the river upstream, only to be beaten again and left unconscious. Thankfully she was found, hospitalized and is recovering. She came so very close to being numbered among the more than 1000 missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada, but she survived.

Her beating is a stark reminder of the brutality suffered by so many aboriginal women and girls. According to the Federal Government Report “Invisible Women: A Call to Action” (March 2014), aboriginal women and girls are two times more likely to be victims of domestic abuse and three times more likely to be the target of a violent attack. The report calls for action through all levels of government in increasing police and emergency measures services, and in increasing the number of shelters, safe houses, and second stage housing for those escaping violence. It also addresses the need in Canadian society at large to break the silence about gender based violence.

Throughout the “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” initiative, thousands of people will gather in vigil in public squares, at town halls, Band Council offices and provincial legislatures. We will light candles in memory of all victims of gender based violence. We will pray for all who remain imprisoned in its vicious cycles, for all making an escape, and for all who counsel and empower them in reclaiming their dignity and their life itself. We will be invited to make the promise associated with these sixteen days, “I will never commit, condone or remain silent about violence again women”. A group of Canadian men wrote this promise in response to the horrific murder of fourteen young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989. Now it is made in more than sixty countries around the world.

While the promise is particularly for men to make, it is in truth a promise all of us can and ought to make as people of faith – for in every respect it reflects our baptismal vow “to respect the dignity of every human being”.

Accordingly we call the Church, on one of the Sundays within the sixteen days to a public reciting of this promise, “I will never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women”.

 

Fred J. Hiltz

Archbishop and Primate

The Anglican Church of Canada

 

Mark MacDonald

National Indigenous Anglican Bishop

The Anglican Church of Canada
Susan C. Johnson

National Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, November 25, 2014

Former Bethlehem bishop Mark Dyer dies at 84

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

A widely respected leader in the worldwide Anglican Communion, Dyer was called upon frequently by Robert Runcie, George Carey and Rowan Williams for significant assignments during their tenures as archbishop of Canterbury Photo Credit: ENS _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[Episcopal News Service] The Rt Revd James Michael Mark Dyer, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem from 1982 to 1995, died November 11 after battling multiple myeloma for several years. He was 84.

Bishop Provisional of Bethlehem Sean W. Rowe said that Dyer’s death “represents a significant loss to our diocese and to the church.

“Whether as an advisor to several archbishops of Canterbury, chief pastor to his diocese, mentor to countless priests and seminarians, or advocate for the poor, he represented the very essence of the servanthood that can be found at the heart of the episcopate,” Rowe said. “A master teacher, Bishop Mark drew on the joy and tragedy of the human condition, including his own, to bring to life the ministry of Jesus and the narrative of God’s work in the world in ways that made for real and lasting transformation. Those of us who had the privilege of sitting at his feet as students caught a glimpse of what it must have been like to sit at the feet of Jesus.”

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), said: “The sense of loss is palpable. I was among many who found tears in my eyes as I learned the news … Mark Dyer was a giant of this seminary. He was a profound gift to the church and to this seminary.”

Dyer joined the VTS faculty in 1996 as professor of systematic theology and director of spiritual formation. He also served as professor of theology and mission. While at VTS he was a senior consultant for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies. After his retirement from VTS, Dyer maintained a presence within the VTS community as an adjunct professor until his death.

A widely respected leader in the worldwide Anglican Communion, Dyer was called upon frequently by Robert Runcie, George Carey and Rowan Williams for significant assignments during their tenures as archbishop of Canterbury.Under Runcie, Dyer was the sole representative of the bishops of the Episcopal Church on an international committee of 20 Anglican bishops who prepared theological position papers for the 1988 Lambeth Conference of bishops.Carey named Dyer to the 12-member steering committee that planned the 1998 Lambeth Conference. In 1998, he also named Dyer to the Eames Commission that attempted to quell controversy in the communion over the decision by some provinces to ordain women to the priesthood and the episcopacy.

In 2004, Williams named Dyer to the Lambeth Commission on Communion, which attempted to restore unity in the communion during the ongoing controversy over the place of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians in the life of the church.

Dyer was also a committed and respected ecumenist, and his was an important voice in dialogues between the Episcopal Church and Lutheran and Orthodox churches in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. He served as co-chair of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, which produced an agreed statement on the theology of the Church in 2006, published as The Church of the Triune God.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu, remembered his friend Dyer, who he worked with on many issues in the Anglican Communion. “He had a gentle manner. His mouth was always ready to laugh. And he was an affirming presence in every situation in which I encountered him,” said Tutu.

Born June 7, 1930 in Manchester, New Hampshire, Dyer served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War before studying contemporary philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in theology magna cum laude from New Hampshire’s St. Anselm College in 1959.The following year, he was professed a monk in the Order of St. Benedict at St. Anselm Abbey, on the college’s campus. He was ordained priest of the abbey in 1963. He earned a master’s in theology and licentiate in sacred theology at the University of Ottawa, Canada, in 1965, while teaching at St. Anselm seminary. He also taught theology at Queen of Peace Mission Seminary in New Hampshire and as an adjunct professor at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.

He entered the Anglican Church of Canada in 1969 and was received as a priest in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Massachusetts in 1971. He served the Massachusetts diocese as missioner to the clergy; priest in charge of Trinity Church, Bridgewater; and rector of Christ Church, Hamilton and Wenham, before being ordained bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem in 1982.

In her 2008 book, “The Great Emergence,” Phyllis Tickle revised for a wide readership Dyer’s insight that the church’s history can be thought of as a series of “ecclesiastical yard sales.”

While bishop of Bethlehem in the early 1990s, Dyer wrote: “Christianity has had five significant yard sales. Each one has had to do with the church’s struggle to resist the temptation to domesticate God’s vision, to settle for change when God seeks transformation. The sixth is now. It’s something that seems to happen every three or four hundred years. In Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, God empowers the church to discover its roots and its center, and transform itself in new, exciting and wonderful ways. Jesus announced the first yard sale. Then Benedict, in the sixth century. Then the Franciscan Spring in the thirteenth century. Then Martin Luther and the reformers in the sixteenth century, the only yard sale led by an ordained person. It’s time once again for a massive yard sale, a transformation led by lay people. Our 400 years are up.”Dyer is predeceased by his son Matthew and survived by his children John and Jennifer Dyer; his stepchildren, Robyn and Amanda Gearey; two grandchildren, Sam and Ava Wandler; and his spouse, Amelia J. Gearey Dyer, Ph.D., who serves VTS as the James Maxwell Professor of Christian Education and Pastoral Theology, and director of the Ministry Resident Program. He is also survived by a sister, Patricia Cashin.

Dyer’s first wife, the Rev. Marie Elizabeth Dyer, died in 1999. She was an Episcopal priest and they were married 29 years.

– Adapted from various press releases and statements.

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Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), November 13, 2014

Episcopal ring “symbol of deep Anglican, Roman Catholic relationship”

Posted on: November 24th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

(L to R) The Most Revd Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion and Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe
Photo Credit: Bp David Hamid
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By ACNS staff
The Most Revd Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has presented Canon Kenneth Kearon with an Episcopal Ring to mark his election as Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe in the Church of Ireland.
The presentation took place recently in Rome during a meeting of the Informal Talks, an annual meeting between senior officials in the Vatican and the Anglican Communion. Bishop Farrell and Canon Kearon were the joint chairs of the meeting.
“This is both a personal gift from someone who has become a good friend during our annual meetings and other conversations, and also symbolic of the deep relationships which now exist between our two Communions, which are now being expressed at every level of our churches”, said Canon Kearon.
This year, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the Decree on Ecumenism by the Second Vatican Council in November 1964, a document which transformed Roman Catholic attitudes to other Churches and to ecumenical engagement.
This was followed by a meeting between the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey to Pope Paul VI in March 1966, at which the Pope gave an Episcopal Ring to the Archbishop.
That meeting led to the setting up of the Anglican Centre in Rome that same year, and to the inauguration of the series of dialogues between the two traditions known as ARCIC (Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission). _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), November 24, 2014

New task force formed to revisit end-of-life issues

Posted on: November 24th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By André Forget

 

End-of-life debates are ongoing in Canada. Photo: Jeff Wasserman.


 

(This article first appeared in the November issue of the Anglican Journal.) A new task force has been formed to consider how the Anglican Church of Canada’s clergy and laity can faithfully respond to end-of-life issues.

Created by the national church’s faith, worship and ministry committee, the task force responds to a perceived need for more discussion about assisted suicide and euthanasia in the wake of recent developments, including the landmark decision by Quebec in June to allow “medical aid in dying” for terminally ill patients.

The last time that the Anglican Church of Canada addressed end-of-life questions was in 2000, when it published a report, Care in Dying: A Consideration of the Practices of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide, which General Synod commended for study across the church. While it acknowledges that “Christians of good will, after reasoned theological reflection, disagree on the appropriate response at this time,” it recommends that the church “urge its members not to seek recourse to euthanasia and assisted suicide.” It also advises that “ongoing debate of issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide take place in the context of a renewed commitment on the part of both clergy and laity to palliative care initiatives.”

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the federal government has said it could contest the legality of Quebec’s Bill 52.The Rev. Canon Eric Beresford, who was involved in writing Care in Dying and chairs the new task force, said that legal changes happening in Canada are a major part of why it is important to revisit end-of-life issues, and that “the principal stimulus was the realization that we were seeing revisions to end-of-life legislation appearing before a number of jurisdictions in Canada.” Beresford, an ethicist from the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, added that “the context in which pastoral practice takes place has shifted somewhat, and those who provide pastoral care in the highest context will have to think about what they do in light of the actual real context that they are in, including the legal and medical practice context.”

The Rev. Eileen Scully, director of the national church’s faith, worship and ministry department, said that one of the task force’s responsibilities is “to create a resource to assist the church in thinking about [end-of-life] issues.” There is also an emphasis on ensuring that those who are on the front lines—both clergy and laity—have the theological resources they need to navigate the complicated questions arising from these controversial issues.

At this point, however, it is unclear whether the new resource will offer a pronouncement similar to the statement of 1999, or if there will be public consultations or hearings to engage the perspectives of the larger church. The main purpose of the task force, which includes medical ethicists, professionals and practitioners, theologians within the Anglican Church of Canada and a Lutheran partner, is to reconsider the framework of the discussion and decide what is needed at this time.

This will be a major challenge in and of itself. Beresford acknowledged that there is some uncertainty about what the church’s role is in this conversation. “There might be one role when there is active debate, but when there has been legislation which at some level leads to a conclusion…then there may be a different role for the church, whether or not we agree with the conclusion.” There is also the question of how any kind of meaningful statement can be issued on behalf of the church when the church contains so many different perspectives. As Beresford pointed out, “One has to be very careful speaking for ‘the church’ when it is reasonably clear that the church doesn’t have one mind on this.”

This is by no means a debate happening only within the Anglican Church of Canada. The Church of England released a statement in 2007 outlining the issues at stake. While it acknowledged that “those who seek a change in the law are often motivated by compassion,” it stated that the church sees euthanasia and assisted suicide as unacceptable ways of protecting human dignity. And it is not only Christian groups that have spoken out. The Canadian Medical Association has opposed changes to current laws even as it acknowledges that there is ongoing debate about end-of-life issues among Canadian doctors. It has urged the Canadian public and policy makers to engage in a national dialogue about end-of-life care. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Anglican Journal News, November 03, 2014

Primate receives Homeless Jesus replica

Posted on: November 22nd, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By André Forget

 

Homeless Jesus: a sculpture by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz. Photo:  André Forget

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Mississauga, Ont.

Amidst the presentations and discussions, Council of General Synod (CoGS) also included a moment of giving when Andy Seal, director of Augsburg Fortress Canada, presented Archbishop Fred Hiltz with a miniature replica of Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz’s widely acclaimed Homeless Jesus sculpture.

In a letter that accompanied the gift, Seal shared a story of how the idea for the sculpture came into being when Schmalz came across a homeless man in Toronto several years ago and was reminded of the parable in the 25th chapter of Matthew’s gospel explaining that anything done for a person in want is done for Christ himself.

The letter spoke appreciatively of the work the primate is doing in drawing attention to homelessness and housing issues in Canada and the world.

Copies of Homeless Jesus can be found in cities around the world. There is one outside of the University of Toronto’s Regis College and another in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, which was recently blessed by Pope Francis. Whatsoever You Do, a similar sculpture by Schmalz depicting Jesus as a panhandler, can be found outside of Toronto’s Anglican Church of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields.

The gift comes at a time when homelessness and housing issues have received a good deal of attention in the Anglican Church of Canada. The synod of the diocese of Ottawa recently approved a motion that “affirmed and endorsed” elements of the 2013 Joint Assembly resolution “committing our churches to tackle homelessness and affordable housing.”

The motion requests its diocesan council to explore ways of establishing “a co-ordinated approach and collaborative action plan with respect to homelessness and affordable housing.” It also encourages educating parishes about homelessness and affordable housing and considering these issues “in our stewardship and disposition of church property,” and working with ecumenical and interfaith partners and non-profit organizations in projects and advocacy.

“We are called to respond compassionately through our words and our actions,” said the Rev. Laurette Glasgow, the Anglican Church of Canada’s special advisor for government relations, who moved the motion.

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Anglican Journal News, November 21, 2014

WCC condemns attack in synagogue

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Anglican Journal staff

 

Patriarchs and church leaders in Jerusalem recently underlined the importance of maintaining reasonable access to Holy sites in the “delicate political climate.”         Photo:Wikimedia Commons/Andrew Shiva


The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, has issued a statement expressing sadness and concern and condemning the violent attack in a Jerusalem synagogue Nov. 18 that left five people dead and many injured.

“There is a particular horror in any such attack which takes place at a place of worship. I condemn this violence unequivocally, as I do all violence between the peoples and communities of this region which has seen so much bloodshed in the name of religion,” wrote Tveit in a statement issued from the WCC headquarters in Geneva.  “Violence, collective punishments and communal attacks can only further damage the prospects of peace and justice for all.” He went on to express concern about the escalating tensions in Jerusalem and urged all responsible authorities to take proactive steps to prevent any reprisals by extremist groups.

“The tensions and tragedies of this city, holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, are a reminder both of the need for all parties to continue to work intensively for a just peace in Israel and Palestine, and of the vital place that Jerusalem itself plays in that longed for peace,” said Tveit.

The attack was the latest in a series of violent incidents in which 11 Israelis have been killed in the last month.

“The frustration over the failing peace processes, as well as the increasing settlements and continued occupation, will require new initiatives that can overcome the obstacles to peace and build trust in a common future,” Tveit added.

The Anglican Church of Canada is a member of the WCC, which brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories, representing over 500 million Christians globally.

On Nov. 6, patriarchs and church leaders in Jerusalem, including Archbishop Suheil Dawani of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, expressed their concern about the violence and rapidly deteriorating situation in Jerusalem.

Although they acknowledged that “acts of extremism are becoming a phenomenon both here in the Holy Land and in the wider region,” they expressed serious concern about recent activity on Haram al Sharif or Temple Mount, which has included both full closures and some limitation of access to Al Aqsa Mosque. The area is holy to Jews as the site of the first and second temple of ancient times and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, site of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The patriarchs condemned “threats of changes to the status of the Holy Sites from wherever they may come. The Holy Sites need constant watchful protection so that reasonable access to them can be maintained according to the prevailing Status Quo of all three Abrahamic faiths.”

They wrote that the “status quo” governing these sites “needs to be fully respected for the sake of the whole community. Any threat to its continuity and integrity could easily lead to unpredictable consequences which would be most unwelcome in the present delicate political climate.”

The statement was also signed by:

+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate

+Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem

+Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land

+Archbishop Anba Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem

+Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate

+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate

+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

+Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

+Msgr. Joseph Antoine Kelekian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

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Anglican Journal News, November 19, 2014

First Jerusalem Sunday ‘significant’

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By André Forget

 

Anglican Church of Canada Global Relations Director Andrea Mann talks about how Jerusalem Sunday is helping build a a closer relationship between the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and Canadian Anglicans. Photo: André Forget.

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Mississauga, ON

Andrea Mann, global relations director at the Anglican Church of Canada, took some time during her presentation to Council of General Synod (CoGS) Nov. 15 to talk about how Jerusalem Sunday has furthered the Canadian church’s commitment to building a strong relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

Mann explained that one of the main goals in developing closer ties with Jerusalem was to build a relationship that would be “strong and sustainable.” Being in solidarity with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and with ecumenical partners in Canada and in the Middle East for “peace with justice in Israel and Palestine” was also a key priority, as was making the most of this relationship as a way of developing more meaningful connections with Canadian Jewish and Muslim communities.

Mann noted that while there have been initiatives underway to draw these two parts of the Anglican Communion closer together for several years now, one of the most significant recent developments was the first celebration of Jerusalem Sunday, in June 2014.

Jerusalem Sunday, an initiative created to raise awareness and support for the Diocese of Jerusalem among Canadian Anglicans, was observed across the country, and while it was difficult to know exactly how many individuals and parishes had participated, Mann noted that 32 parishes, entities and individuals raised $7,690 for the Penman Medical Clinic in the West Bank. A ministry of the Jerusalem diocese, the clinic provides medical supplies and diagnostic testing that serves about 4,000 people in Zababdeh, a majority Palestinian Christian town in the northern West Bank.

In 2015, Jerusalem Sunday (which is the seventh Sunday after Easter) will fall on May 17, and Mann noted that one of the repeated requests she has received was for “a greater breadth and depth and number of liturgical resources, including a full eucharist service.” There were also requests for prayers from Jewish and Muslim faith traditions, hymns in Arabic and Sunday school resources.

In addition to this, the partners in mission co-ordinating committee is working to create an online resource to help people think about the differences between “religious tourism and authentic pilgrimage.”

Mann acknowledged how important Jerusalem Sunday and the building of a strong relationship with the Diocese of Jerusalem are in light of the conflict that broke out in Gaza over the summer, which, according to the United Nations Reliefs and Works agency, has killed over 2,000 people and left more than 65,000 without homes.

Mann’s presentation to CoGS also covered some of the other work that is being done by the global relations office to assess how the companion diocese relationships are working, and to promote Anglican participation in intercultural ministry training programs.

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Anglican Journal News, November 19, 2014